The Assos Equipe R S9 bib shorts are seriously impressive for their price – the trickle down effect of the more expensive RS and RSR ranges here is strong. They offer the most performance with very little compromise.
During this test the temperature never exceeded around 8C and only briefly so most was done on my turbo with a fan. It was conducive to my modesty, as the shorts are quite thin, and although they’ve added more black dye this time around, they’re so tight that they hug every curve like cling film and – at full extension – go a little see-through. This however never approaches indecency and only occurs on the thigh.
Assos highlights their sweat and wicking ability, and it is simply top notch. I was never aware of the humidity in the stiff breeze generated by the fan, so much so that they were dry to the touch when other (thicker) clothes got sweaty. Being so light and airy, they instantly became my first choice for summer riding ahead.
Assos uses fairly large and complicated panels for this, which means fewer seams and impressive comfort. This is the “Textile Type.443”, a derivative of the .441 from their RS range. It compresses and breathes like the RS, and with an identical UPF 50+, allowing no more than 2% of UVA and UVB to reach your skin.
Assos uses an ‘A-lock’ construction process (again a hand-me-down of the RS) and a glossy, one-piece butterfly panel that wraps around the back and down each thigh; the result promotes comfort and support, and it looks pretty tidy too.
The chamois is a very slightly lower spec than the RS, but in size, shape and comfort I found it anything but indistinguishable. The relatively long front section works great for aggressive and bent positions.
The waffle exterior is silky smooth, with the first few plush millimeters before you hit the more supportive core. The real magic, however, lies in the abrasion resistance; the entire cushion floats, attached only at the front and back, leaving the middle free to move on the outside. I found this most noticeable when transitioning from standing to sitting, when the “abrasion” of getting back to my sitting position in the saddle with a bit of shimmy is all but eliminated.
This chamois is my new personal favorite and the best I’ve ever tried.
It’s worth mentioning with a smile that Assos develops a minor reputation for being a little comical in the fly department, thanks to all that padding and comfort. While these shorts don’t go up to Blackadder ‘is that a canoe in your pocket?’ proportions, they are going in that direction.
I wish I could write about them without talking about the price. Price is almost never the point with Assos, they compete on performance and focus almost exclusively on that metric. However, these appear lower on the budget scale and fare better – these are actually Assos offering 90% of their performance tier above 65% of the price. Seen through this lens, they are a bargain.
At £155 they’re still towards the higher end of the market, although far from the top (well over £200). They’re up against bib shorts like the £169.99 Giro Men’s Chrono Elite Bibshorts, or the £135 Albion ABR1 Bibshorts, and at least the equal of both.
I think they have the edge over the £200 Rapha Classic Bib Shorts in terms of aesthetics, chamois and suspenders, and even compare favorably to our NVPA recommended option – the Bib®/Short™ at £145 for all but unnecessary punctuation.
Compared to Assos’ top-end £210 RS S9 and £260 RSR, these are simply blinding: almost all the performance for a lot less money.
The cut here is resolutely “racing” and intended for high intensity training. They’re significantly more aero (compressive and soft-finished) than Assos’ Mille and Comfort series, and for the wider-thighed “sprinters” among us, the fit is compressive. It’s certainly noticeable while walking, but it disappears on the bike, where they return to their “natural” position.
The straps are just perfect. They are so lightweight and consistently stay tangle and twist free. There are no adjusters, but I found them to be the perfect length, grippy and supportive, but by no means restrictive. I quickly forgot they were there.
Overall, I think the Equipe R looks the business: understated and well-made. There’s only one small logo on the front and back, and no full names are spelled out; if you know, you know.
As you’ve probably already figured out, these are the best cycling shorts I’ve tried. The streaming technology and performance are all deeply impressive. I struggle to find anything negative to say about them. The chunky seam isn’t flat, it’s the only angled cut I can find…but it’s so well placed it doesn’t matter because it’s never chaffed.
This is a very good bib short, possibly the best I’ve ever worn, with exceptional comfort, an excellent compressive fit and a tastefully understated aesthetic.
Extremely comfortable chamois and performance-enhancing compression fit. Gorgeous
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Brand and model : Assos Equipe R S9 Bib Shorts
Tell us what the product is for
Assos says, “The entry into our Race series, EQUIPE R combines technology from the EQUIPE RS system with simplified everyday utility.”
Tell us a bit more about the technical aspects of the product?
80% Polyamide, 20% Elastane.
Floating 3-layer chamois on the outside.
The X-Frame “suspension” limits the sag of the upper back, stabilizes and supports the chamois insert.
Patented 3-layer perforated foam insert
Rate the product for build quality:
Beautifully made with great chunky stitching. Although the center/main seam didn’t close flat, it actually didn’t cause me any discomfort.
Rate the product for its performance:
Compressive and aerodynamic as befits a race bib. These were extremely breathable/absorbent with terrific cushion. High level comfort.
Rate the product for durability:
No real signs of wear after a month.
Rate product for fit:
There’s a lot of stretch in the material, although it’s compressive – great for riding, but if you’re not they can get a bit uncomfortable.
Rate product for size:
As expected. There’s a bit more compression here than with some, but they just feel snug rather than undersized.
Rate the product based on its weight:
These are flyweight shorts, ideal for summer riding and high intensity/heat workouts. The suspenders also stand out for their lightness, comfort and fit.
Rate the product for comfort:
Few seams and great comfort. This chamois was a thing of beauty for me: not too fluffy, not too firm. Beautiful and soft to the touch.
Evaluate the product for its value:
Is the product easy to maintain? How did it react to the wash?
No noticeable signs of aging after a month.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used as intended
Alright. For high intensity training, compression is welcome and quickly overcome by a high heart rate.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Lightweight, comfortable, wicks very well. I also like the understated style.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The largest seam is not flat.
How does the price compare to similar products on the market, including those recently tested on road.cc?
At £155 they are towards the higher end of the market, although far from the top (well above £200). They’re up against bib shorts like the £169.99 Giro Men’s Chrono Elite Bibshorts, or the £135 Albion ABR1 Bibshorts.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, a lot
Would you consider purchasing the product? Certainly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Certainly
Use this box to explain your overall score
Smart design, premium fabrics, fantastic comfort, incredibly light weight and high breathability all impress. The price is high but these are worth it.
I usually ride: Custom titanium gravel My best bike is:
I have been riding since: Over 20 years I ride: most days I would classify myself as: Experimented
I regularly practice the following types of riding: commuting, hiking, club riding, sports, general fitness riding, fixed/single gear, mountain biking,
#Assos #Equipe #Bib #Shorts